The heroes awake to smoke in the North, and thunderheads in the south. The Halfling, Phlato gathers his belongings and heads out, riding his recently acquired mastiff. The rest of the group meditates, gathers water, and worries about the smoke in the North. The head out and soon the rains are upon them. A few hours later a sinkhole opens beneath them mortally wounding the two donkeys pulling the cart, and destroying the cart itself. All the heroes manage to leap to safety before the cart crashes down into the hole. Tibet jumps down, deftly rolling to avoid injury from the impact. An underground stream, swollen with the rains, runs through the underground chamber. The Floomph flies away and out of the chamber. There are several dimly lit alcoves, and he hears creatures skittering in the darkness. He assesses the damage to the cart and animals as the other two fasten a rope to a tree and climb down. As soon as Fin, and Jean get to the bottom the skittering of the creatures comes closer. Fin sees them first and warns of the dog-sized lobster-ish monsters. Jean blows him off, and gets bitten hard by one of the Rust Monsters. Fin begins to stab with a rapier and it rusts on contact with these beasts. Tibet smacks them with his hands, and feet, killing them while Fin distracts. Jean runs away to tend to multiple bite wounds. The heroes are victorious. Tibet slits the donkeys’ throats, a mercy, gathers the rest of the gear, and they leave. They take a short rest, but are interrupted briefly by a large creature with hooks for arms, a beak like a hawk, and the body of a beetle. Fin, thinking quickly, fires at the ceiling hoping to cause a collapse. The monster charges, and the rocks fall from the ceiling just as the horror is about to reach Fin.
After they rest a little longer, the group takes a look at the alcove that has a golem in it. Fin reads the arcane runes and learns that it is some sort of recharge station. Tibet smacks the golem to try to make it work, but to no avail. Finally Jean uses the last reserves of his magic to sing a healing song and mend some of the broken parts of the golem. It immediately activates, and Jean asks, “Am I your God now?” To which the Golem replies cryptically, “I have no God, but I do have a Patron.” It introduces itself as Vessel. The golem investigates the other alcoves, noticing they contain only the wooden remains of his former comrades. They climb out, and Myconid sprout stays in the damp cave, free to wander and grow.
The heroes continue North along the road, trudging through the mud, and making slow progress. A family from the village of Bejen passes by, telling a tale of goblins raiding and pillaging. Further on, two centaurs canter up, introduce themselves as Emberhood, and Birchtrot, and tell the tale of how their village was sacked by goblins, and 18 centaurs killed in the fighting. The heroes question them further, and get some idea about what they are up against. Hundreds of Goblins, Hobgoblins, Worgs, Bugbears, Ogres, all lead by a Hobgoblin Warlord with a Manticore pet, the winged creature that has been following the group for days.
The party takes a rest, and considers options. Tibet, being faster than the others, scouts the road ahead, coming upon a lone wandering Ogre. He runs back and gets the rest of the group who follow. Tibet sneaks up through the foliage, climbs a tree and jumps down on the Ogre, surprising it while Jean, failing at stealth, provides a distraction. Vessel quickly joins the fray, creating a black blade out of thin air, while Fin fires shots from a distance. The creature roars, and spins to attack Tibet, who nimbly ducks a skull-splitting blow from the Ogre’s greatclub. The final blow to the Ogre comes from Fin’s arrow imbued with arcane energy that crackles from the entry point up to the monster’s head. It’s eyes roll back in its skull as it falls lifeless to the ground. The party takes the javelin off the Ogre, and Vessel wears the loin cloth as a poncho. Vessel then cuts the head off the Ogre at the behest of Tibet, and impales it on the tip of the massive javelin.
The heroes decide that there is no way they can take on the army of Goblins, and heads back to Crossroads Bay. The rain stops and the sun comes out, creating a muggy, and oppressive atmosphere. They make it back to Crossroads Bay and enter with much pomp with Jean creating a flourish of musicians with his magic that play them into the gates. The party wastes no time in taking the head of the Ogre to the Magistrate and warning him of the impending attack. Tibet then admits to murdering the guards and is told he can participate in the fight, but will be in the vanguard. Six guards escort Tibet to the wall of the stockade.
Fin, Vessel, and Jean head to Slem’s hideout underneath Sidoi Bridge to find the old half-elf dead at his writing desk, quill in hand, ink pot open. They find no evidence of foul play. Jean leaves to rest up for the coming battle, and the others head for the ramparts near the Northwestern gate.
The attack comes in the early hours of the morning just before dawn. First boulders destroy buildings inside the city, or land harmlessly outside, then arrows, volley after volley force the defenders to hunker down for cover. Finally a group of scouting Hobgoblins riding Worgs test the defenses, probing for weaknesses and scouting the range and accuracy of the archers on the walls. On Fin’s command the archers attack one of the rider’s Worgs, wounding it and causing all three of them to retreat.
Goblins rush the walls, taking heavy casualties, but distracting enough so that two Ogres can run up to the doors of the gate and smash it. The goblins climb the walls and kill a few guards, but they are beaten back and one is taken prisoner. The Ogres are killed, but the damage is done, the gate is open. Tibet cuts major arteries and veins on the Ogres with his knife to create a pool of blood at the gate, making it harder to get through than usual, and hopefully slowing down the next wave of troops. Jean holds up the tied goblin prisoner and yells a threat at the goblin army, “This will be you if you continue your attack!” and slits the goblin’s throat.
The party takes a short rest to await the next wave, and counts themselves lucky to have survived this far.